School Board approves 2014-'15 calendar

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By Brian Garner

The first day of school for the 2014-2015 school year will be Monday August 18, 2014 and graduation will be Saturday, May 30, 2015. That's according to the 2014-2015 Academic Calendar, approved at the February meeting by the Chester County School Board.
Back in December, the school district held a calendar committee meeting with representatives of each of the schools and district departments and parents. At that meeting the district took comments from each of those groups as to what their needs were.
“As you can imagine, the calendar is always a compromise, because you have some people who are adamant that you start school (the first day) on a Wednesday, and other folks who are adamant that you start on a Monday, so no one is ever completely happy,” said Brooke Clinton, the district public information officer, “but we did try to make sure that each group gets the need that they want most to benefit our students.”
The district employees received two draft calendars in February to vote on. To have a good statistical sample from across the district, Clinton said they like to get about 225 votes. The district received over 300 votes
She said the wording on the calendar was simplified this year for parents, demystifying some of the educational-ese. For example, instead of “teacher work days” those days are listed as “teacher planning” days. The district staff will receive a more detailed calendar describing what sort of work day or in-service days those teacher planning days are.
Tuesday, November 4 is an election Tuesday and so there is no school on that day. Also, Clinton said a lot of teachers wanted the chance for a Veteran's Day program, so that day on November 11, 2014 will be on a half day schedule for the students.
The calendar also shows the new toll-free District Office “all-call” phone number 1-888-882-7179.
In other business, the Board took up the following issue:
In her report, Superintendent Dr. Agnes Slayman told the board that the district has missed five days due to winter weather. One day was made up and she is considering on Memorial Day as another day that can be made up.
“What I'm really waiting on is the Legislature. If the Senate passes what has already passed the     State House of Representatives which is to give the local school boards the authority to forgive five days, I'd like to know what the Board's feelings are about making up days or not making up those snow days,” she said.